The Anne Arundel County Board of Education approved a 1.25 percent mid-year pay increase for all non-teaching staff members Wednesday morning.
The board’s decision to increase salaries for all Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) workers comes three weeks after they approved similar salary increases for teachers on Sept. 19.
School staff members are now set to receive a pay bump in the middle of the current work year, which varies depending on the position held. For the current school year, employees will only technically receive a 0.62 percent increase, but then receive the full 1.25 percent for the next year.
The agreement between the school system and employee bargaining units for support staff, secretaries and administrators will cost AACPS about $900,000 for fiscal year 2013. Including the salary increase for teachers, the cumulative cost to the board comes to approximately $3.4 million, AACPS spokesman Bob Mosier said.
Board President Andrew C. Pruski said the raise will only come out to $15-$40 per paycheck for most employees.
“It is a small step in the right direction. Quite honestly, we’ve had a period of time where we have not had [cost of living adjustments], we have not had steps,” said AACPS Director of Employee Negotiations Oscar Davis. “We want to indicate to our employees that we value the work that they do.”
The overall $3.4 million bill associated with the salary increases for fiscal year 2013 will be funded by “savings measures” accrued over time by the school system, Mosier said.
AACPS Chief Operating Officer Alex Szachnowicz said “the bulk” of that money comes from the county’s high teacher turnover rate.
When educators leave the school system for retirement, a different job or transferring to a new county, AACPS sometimes hires younger teachers who receive significantly less pay than 10 or 20-year veterans. That change in salary saves the county money—one of the largest ways AACPS is funding the pay bump, Szachnowicz said.
“All of [the money] comes from the existing budget’s bottom line, from savings measures we’re put in place to be able to make it work,” Mosier said. “We’re not asking [the Anne Arundel County Council] for extra money.”
The board approved AACPS employee pay increases for each bargaining unit with individual votes. The breakdown of votes can be found below:
- A 1.25 percent pay increase for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (cafeteria, custodial, building workers)—Board approved 7-2, with Amalie Brandenburg and Kevin Jackson voting “no.”
- A 1.25 percent pay increase for the Secretaries and Assistants Association of Anne Arundel County (secretaries, teacher assistants)—Board approved 6-2-1, with Jackson and Brandenburg voting “no” and Solon K. Webb abstaining.
- A 1.25 percent pay increase for the Association of Educational Leaders (school administrators)—Board approved 6-2-1 with Jackson and Brandenburg voting “no” and Pruski abstaining.
- A 1.25 percent pay increase for Unit 5 and Unit 6 employees (AACPS office executives and staff)—Board approved 7-1-1 with Brandenburg voting “no” and Jackson abstaining.
As the two board members who voted against the pay increases, Jackson and Brandenburg both expressed that they strongly support teachers and want to offer pay raises. However, they both said they felt the timing was not right and that they want a more collaborative effort between the board and the County Council.